Just a little note in response to the April issue that I am browsing and studying and contemplating this morning...
The first thought is that everything is so beautifully done, with such finesse and excellence. So much care has gone into this. It is remarkable and very much deserving praise and conscious appreciation.
Plus, beyond the technical and artistic elegance – it is substantial. The content is rich and detailed and broad. There is so much to it, I should and very likely will simply have to dig deeper to find the time to read it all thoroughly, and probably in a way that involves taking notes and learning what I can, to assimilate new perspectives and new initiatives.
Perhaps for me, as an essentially “spiritual” person, the call by Chief Phil Lane, for “unified spiritual action” to “protect the sacred in a shattered world” resonates most directly with my own hopes and sense of mission and urgency. Phil Lane writes:
“Not only do we each need to honor, respect and protect our own sacred and divine self; we must also learn to see and experience this same spiritual reality in every other human being. Only through developing and living into our spiritual nature and capacities can we realize the oneness of the human family.”
Unified action. Bud Heckman speaks of this, too, where he writes, “As a concluding word, I urge that we start a conversation to get a clearer, shared definition for the teeming sea of things that advance ‘interfaith’ or ‘religious pluralism.’ If we seek to rally ourselves behind such a focus, we might get to where we all want to go much faster or directly. It would be like all the ships on the great seas agreeing on similar terms, instruments, and standards for navigation and etiquette.”
From my perspective, this is a critical call to something essential – and pointing towards what I myself see as the core mission of interfaith itself. Do the religions of the world in some sense have a common pastoral ministry to the world, to guide us together in our inexplicably bottomless diversity towards that “world that works for everyone”?
TIO is supporting and nurturing that essential conversation, and doing so with excellence and grace and vision. Thank you.
Bruce Schuman, Santa Barbara